Puerto Rico braces for catastrophic Hurricane Maria

Posted September 20, 2017

Ms Patel said British troops, police and aid experts were "working relentlessly" to help the victims of Hurricane Irma.

Maria is estimated to be moving along a similar track to that of Irma - the hurricane that devastated the same region earlier this month.

Though categorized as a Category 5 storm when hitting Dominica, it has since been downgraded to a Category 4, after making landfall.

Hurricane Jose - a Category 1 storm - is tracking off shore on Monday morning, but Virginia's beaches will see rough surf, beach erosion and unsafe rip currents through at least Tuesday.

Hurricane Maria churned toward the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Tuesday, after unleashing "widespread devastation" on the small island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm.

A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued along the Virginia coast for later Monday through Tuesday. "Interests in these areas should monitor the progress of Maria and follow any advice given by local officials", the warning concludes. The island avoided a direct hit from that storm, but Irma's powerful storm surge and winds still caused many residents to lose power.

The latest cone of uncertainty of Hurricane Maria by the National Hurricane Center.

Martinique, a French island south of Dominica, suffered power outages but avoided major damage.

A Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey takes off from the USS Kearsarge aircraft carrier as USA military continues to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Virgin Islands in advance of Hurricane Maria, in the Caribbean Sea near the islands.

The Associated Press says forecasters have warned that Hurricane Maria might become even stronger as it follows a path that could take it on Tuesday near numerous islands already wrecked by Hurricane Irma and then head toward a possible direct strike on Puerto Rico on Wednesday. 1,200 citizens fled from Saint Martin and Saint Thomas to Puerto Rico and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals, according to The New York Times.

Dominica is located south of Puerto Rico and home to about 75,000 people.

Maria is the seventh hurricane in the Atlantic this season.

The storm will affect parts of the Leeward Islands and the British and US Virgin Islands for next couple of days.

It is very possible that whatever is left of Jose (off the U.S. Northeast coast), could help steer Maria away from the United States.

One lawyer based in Dominica said that his roof and ceiling had collapsed and his pain was further compounded by two inches of water in his house.